Blockchain platform Bitt announced this week it has launched its new Blockchain Mobile Money App, mMoney digital payment product, in Barbados. The company reported that the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) and several of its strategic partners participated in the soft launch, which marked the region’s first “digital dollar only” event. Overstock.com’s (NASDAQ: OSTK) blockchain investment vehicle Medici Ventures notably owns stock and options on 34.8 percent of Bitt.
Bitt revealed that under the mMoney brand it is bringing to market a blockchain-based mobile wallet that allows users to participate in digital transactions on their smartphones from a secure account. The accounts will be 100 percent backed by segregated funds in appropriate currencies in Bitt’s custody. Rawdon Adams, Bitt’s CEO., stated:
“mMoney is mobile money. It is safer, faster and smarter, which means that entrepreneurs as well as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) can benefit from the merchant solution,” said
Adams also explained how Bitt’s new solution differs from traditional mobile banking. While both must observe compliance and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations, mobile banking requires that customers have a traditional account at a financial institution, commercial bank, or credit union. In contrast, Bitt’s new mobile money allows users to store, send, and receive digital fiat currency using their phones without having to link to traditional financial institutions. This will result in significant savings of time and money for MSMEs that currently face high bank fees and lengthy waiting times for transactions to clear. Adams noted:
“mMoney is designed to support increased financial inclusion. It gives merchants the ability to offer an innovative payment option which is, among other things, faster, more secure, more inclusive, more convenient, and more cost-effective than existing options.”
Founded in 2013, Bitt describes itself as a fintech company that utilizes distributed ledger technology to improve speed, efficiency and significantly reduce the costs of the payment system. The company added it has recently reached an agreement with a central bank elsewhere in the hemisphere to digitize its fiat currency, a significant step toward surfacing the billions of dollars of value currently trapped in informal economies among unbanked citizens and microentrepreneurs. The company will serve as a platform on top of which users will eventually be able to access loans, insurance, and other financial products.